If I’m being honest, this isn’t working”. At some point in your life, I’m sure that you’ve heard, or even said, these very words. The context implies to a malfunction of some sort; whether in a physical or technological piece of equipment, the sustainability of our planet, a relational conflict, or behavioural patterns, the list is endless. I’ll be the first to admit that I usually realise things aren’t working when it’s too late. I’m guilty of ignoring the fuel light in my car, thinking I can get away with one more scoop of ice-cream, bottling my emotions or avoiding my devotional time. What’s one more day…right?
Every choice we make, develops a pattern of behaviours that can either be constructive or destructive. In either circumstance, there is a resulting consequence to the actions we take as individuals, but more importantly as a community.
How do you know something isn’t working?
Imagine a world where you ignored your fuel light every time you went for a drive. How would you know when something wasn’t working? Simply put, the car would stop running.
“I am forgotten as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery.” (Psalm chapter 31, verse 12).
I’d like to think that the things we have forgotten are the things that break. Like broken pottery that becomes useless, the only time we realise that something isn’t working is often when it is no longer able to perform optimally. At this point, it’s likely too late to resolve the issue by ourselves. Whether that means we lose a relationship, needing to call a mechanic or find ourselves in a spiritual wilderness, we can always call on the Creator.
Fixing broken things
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans chapter 12, verse 2)
When we divert from the marked path; straying outside of boundaries, ignoring warning signs and going with the flow, it becomes difficult to self-correct without expert help. Likewise, fixing broken pottery is not a job for the average curator. It takes the Potter, who knows His clay, to be able to fix that which is broken.
Going with the flow is not the way live a life that matters. Societal norms can warp our perception of what is truly good and please to God. The scripture in Romans chapter 12 is the perfect reminder that when we choose focus on God our thought patterns and the way we perceive the world will stand out from the crowd.
In a world of individuals seeking fame and status, it cannot be innately wrong to stand out for holding fast to the truth of God’s will. Matthew chapter 5, verse 14 is one of my favourite scriptures because it so simply puts our purpose into perspective.
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they set it on a stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew chapter 5, verses 14-16).
Even when it takes us a while to realise things aren’t working, we can find our path by refocusing our gaze on Christ and stand out in society for being a light in the world that points to truth. No matter how much the world may try to smother your flame, the light you bear comes from the Son and the knowledge of who you are in Christ cannot be taken from you.
Yes, the way the world has bent and broken our will isn’t working. Yes, we need to talk. Our actions as a people of faith is to spread love and peace when all else crumbles for the peace that God has given us surpasses human understanding.
Hailing from South Africa, Crystelda is an avid nerd and an unapologetic dreamer. With a BSc. Biological Sciences and BCom Hons in marketing, she has launched the Christian lifestyle blog - Selah Blogger and is the joint winner of the 2019 International Theology Award. The blog can be found at https://selahblogger.wordpress.com/ and her previous articles may be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/crystelda-naidoo.html